Updated: 6 days ago
Only 1% of beekeepers in the US are commercial operators, who use Langstroth Hives for their operations because they are easily palletized, stacked, and transported around the country to pollination contracts, or because equipment can be bought in bulk, by the thousands, for significant discounts. Langstroth Hives are also ubiquitous, and to a high degree, standardized (except when ordering from different providers, when trying to fit deep frames in shallower boxes and vice-versa, or when looking to find the right size of box, bottom board, inner cover or lid when you keep 5 frame, 8 frame and 10 frame equipment).
94% or so of beekeepers in the US, the vast majority of us, are actually backyard, small scale beekeepers.
As backyard, small scale beekeepers who do not transport hives on a regular basis, it's important to realize that we don't have to keep our bees the same way commercial beekeepers, both in hive styles or beekeeping methods. We have the luxury to use non-vertical hives styles, and more specifically horizontal Top-Bar Hives that are much cheaper, easy to make on our own (as a non-wood worker, I can ma